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Question Number: 26961

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/29/2012

RE: rec Adult

alex of richmond hill, ontario canada asks...

I thought that diving is defined as going down without any 'contact' from an opponent. However, I saw many opinions that torres was rightly cautioned on diving in the manutd vs chelsea game because: 1. contact was minimal (i.e. he can continue playing but instead chose to throw himself on the ground), and 2. torres cannot get to the ball even though there is contact (i.e. he knew he lost the ball and decided to go down). Are these 2 reasons legitimate?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Alex
The Laws states that it is an offence when a player attempts to deceive the referee by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled.
As we know there is contact in the game between players and not all contact is a foul.
In this situation Referee Clattenberg clearly felt that Torres pretended to be fouled and that the contact was minimal and not enough to have been a foul. The player also exaggerated his fall and held his leg as if the contact was significant causing injury. Added all together that was an attempt to deceive the referee into awarding an advantageous free kick and perhaps a caution for the defender. We have the benefit of slow motion, freeze frame, zoom lens and multiple viewing angles. The referee gets one go at it from his angle of view.
In the recent Ireland V Germany game the German forward Marco Reus went down easily on a challenge by John O'Shea inside the penalty area. There was contact by the Irish defender but the referee either did not see it or deemed that it was not enough to pull the player to the ground in the manner it happened. Reus was cautioned for simulation.
What has happened over the years is that when there was minimal contact referees simply waved away the call for a foul / penalty, even when the attempt was to deceive. I detect an effort by senior group referees to 'encourage' player to stand up / play on and not to be looking for fouls by taking a tougher approach on those that 'look for' the foul through the issue of a caution for simulation.



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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

A 'dive' can occur with or without contact. The offense is an exaggeration and/or an attempt at deception of the referee.



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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

My colleagues are quite correct that the misconduct caution is for attempting to deceive the referee by simulating a foul or exaggerating the result of a foul. Basically this is a tactical move by a player to fool the referee, and try to gain an unfair advantage agains the opponent. It is properly identified as unsporting behavior, which is the technical name for the misconduct awarded in these situations.

These moves are a form of cheating, and FIFA and the International Board have admonished, cajoled and threatened referees into enforcing the sanctions against such behavior. It ruins the beautiful game.



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